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Mosque in Macao
Emily Strauss


The Musselman cemetery
Is tucked under the cliff,
Draped in broad-leafed vines
And overhanging mimosas
Each grave crowned by
A crescent moon and a star
In cement, fresh flowers
Scattered in cracked vases.
The mosque sits forgotten
Above the sea in this Chinese
Buddhist-Catholic city
Of billowing incense, smoke
Rising from temple courtyards,
Lost among tropical foliage
Across the world from dry
Desert stone, far from home.

© by Emily Strauss. 
Used with the author's permission.

Emily Strauss has an M.A. in English, but is self-taught in poetry, which she has written since college. More than 550 of her poems appear in a wide variety of online venues and in anthologies, in the U.S. and abroad. The natural world of the American West is Emily’s usual framework; she also considers the narratives of people and places around her. Emily is a retired teacher and lives in Oregon with a small dog and a black cat.


Post New Comment:
Thank you for your responses. I lived in Macao for three years and only found this overgrown tiny cemetery by wandering a lot. I always wondered how Moslem sailors ended up there.
Posted 03/09/2012 12:36 PM
Kay Sanders:
What intrigues me are those "fresh flowers scattered in cracked vases."
Posted 03/07/2012 03:19 PM
This poem evokes an interesting loneliness and begs the question "Why are these graves and mosque here 'far from home?'" I love it when poetry makes me wonder.
Posted 03/07/2012 02:41 PM
Wilda Morris:
This poem makes me want to go to Macao!
Posted 03/07/2012 02:22 PM

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